Sonja-Riitta is a dancer, performer and dance maker currently based inbetween Helsinki and Stockholm. Since 2019, she holds a Bachelor in Dance Performance from DOCH, Stockholm University of Arts. Having a background in social sciences and anthropology, Sonja-Riitta is interested in integrating social philosophy and theory into her dance practices. From this interdisciplinary standpoint, she approaches dancing as thinking.
Sonja-Riitta’s interest in dance performance focuses currently on the different embodied temporalities, such as memories, regrets, déjà vu, or hope and future imaginaries. In framing the work and the working methods, Sonja-Riitta engages with the questions concerning the relationship between human experience and a technological innovation. This leads to exploring cyber spaces and virtual realities as environments and technological devices as co-performers.
Sonja-Riitta has performed her own work in Finland and Sweden, and she has taken part in various creations and performances in both countries. She is currently collaborating with Alexander Talts in a new project MEMEBRAINE. Previously, Sonja-Riitta has performed in works by, among others, Stina Nyberg, Heine Avdal & Yukiko Shinozaki, Ellinor Ljungkvist, Eleanor Bauer and Vivianne Budsko-Lommi.
Sonja-Riitta is a board member in INSISTER SPACE, an organization, platform and network for freelance artists within the field of dance and choreography.
How performance could be expanded online? In current times, the definition of a person is often viewed as an expanded field of information, not necessarily located in a singular body. A person is also their online presence, all social media accounts one shares with friends or followers. Rather than existing only in a body, a person is a field of information located and stored in various devices, bodies and environments. MEMEBRAINE is revolving around the cyberspaces and technologies as expansions of human experience and representation. Rather than treating them as exterior or other to human, we want to research how they are embodied and attended with embodied practices.
How can the experience of an online self be felt by the senses? What are the tendencies of cyborgs as a species, not really human and not really natural? What does practices of embodiment mean when a person’s body cannot be fully grasped? What kind of environments or ecologies exists or could exist? Is there a ”natural” behaviour of the self in cyberspace? And; what happens to the perception of space (spaciality) in cyberspace?
MEMEBRAINE is looking more specifically into memes, which have turned into a complex culture of intertextuality in virtual communication. The proposal is to investigate how to use memes as choreographic tools and methods for activating dancing, as well as ways to relate and empathize.
MEMEBRAINE is a work in progress in collaboration with Alexander Talts.
I AM FOAM OF CELLS
THE FOAM ON TOP OF THE
WAVES WHEN THEY PREPARE FOR
YET ANOTHER MOMENT
THE POSSIBILITY OF ALL THE DIRECTIONS
CIRCULAR, LIKE TIME
THAT PASSES THROUGH
YET ANOTHER MOMENT
Actually, I’m also foam of cells.
Foam becomes the edge of the wave,
becomes the ocean.
FOAMING UTOPIAS is an attempt to discover the potentiality of dancing in imagining, creating, and attending utopias. It expands from an essay and writing practice dealing with utopias as philosophical and embodied phenomena.
2019 DOCH, Stockholm
How does a ____ garden a ____?
Initiation and coaching Deborah Hay
2018 Exploring Utopia festival, Helsinki
2018 Talvipuutarha, Helsinki
I’m so naïve I can’t even
2017 DOCH, Stockholm
2019 When we danced we built a spectrum / Choreography Klara Sjöblom/ DOCH, Stockholm
2018 It’s ok to be slow / Choreography Ellinor Ljungkvist / STOFF2018, Stockholm
2018 SPLENDOUR / Choreography Stina Nyberg / DOCH, Stockholm
2018 BORROWED LANDSCAPE / Choreography Heine Avdal & Yukiko Shinozaki / ICA Maxi Lindhagen, Stockholm
2017 OUROBORACULAR / Creation with Eleanor Bauer / DOCH, Stockholm
2016 Pienen näyttämön juttu (reenactment) / Choreography Tommi Kitti / Dance Theatre Jazz-Point, Helsinki
2015 Pasos Nuevos (reenactment) / Choreography Tommi Kitti / Tommi Kitti & Co. Helsinki
2015 Darr / Choreography Vivianne Budsko-Lommi / Dance Theatre Jazz-Point, Helsinki
2015 Suspended Step / Choreography Ilona Kenova / Dance Theatre Jazz-Point, Helsinki
BA in Dance Performance, DOCH, Stockholm
University of Arts / 2016 –2019
BA in Social Sciences / Social and Cultural
Anthropology, University of Helsinki /
2014 – 2017
Aktivistit, Dance training intensive
Dance Theatre Jazz-Point/ Tamara Rasmussen
Opisto, Helsinki / 2013 – 2016
The Dance Curriculum, Vaskivuori Upper
Secondary School, Vantaa / 2009 – 2012
Rasmus Ölme, Leila McMillan, Frey Faust, Shannon Cooney, Arantxa Martinez, Dana Caspersen, Caroline Byström, Arkadi Zaides, Salva Sanchis, Eroca Nicols, Alice Chauchait, Chrysa Parkinson, Deborah Hay, Anna Grip, Eleanor Bauer, Ulrika Berg, Jan Burkhardt, Sigal Zouk, Karin Munters-Jameson, Natasha Lommi, Jarkko Mandelin, Ilona Kenova Vivianne Budsko-Lommi and more.